eXtra opens maiden store in Yanbu

Updated 27 May 2012

eXtra opens maiden store in Yanbu

United Electronics Company (eXtra), Saudi Arabia’s leading consumer electronics and home appliance retailer, has announced the opening of its first store in Yanbu, enhancing the company’s presence and bringing its nationwide network to 25 branches.
The 1,500 square-meter store in Yanbu will serve a growing population of 250,000 people living in over 75,000 houses, with each family spending on average SR 3,500 on electronic goods every year.
The total amount spent each year on electronics and home appliances in Yanbu is estimated to be approximately SR 250 million.
“We are delighted to announce the opening of our first store in Yanbu, adding to our network of stores serving customers in the Western Region,” said Mohammad Galal, CEO, United Electronics Company (eXtra).
“Our new opening in Yanbu validates our relentless commitment to reach our clients across the Kingdom, wherever they may be. This is also in line with our expansion goals which aim to see eXtra having 40 branches across Saudi Arabia by 2015. The opening of this branch follows the opening of seven stores last year, as well as one store in Jizan this year, and we have plans to open three more by the end of the current year.”
More than ten million shoppers visit eXtra’s stores annually, making it one of the fastest growing companies in the Kingdom, according to the recent ranking by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA).
Offering over 12,000 different products — including an enormous range of leading international brands — eXtra ranks first in terms of the number of stores and products it offers in Saudi Arabia.


Israel cenbank’s Abir says buying corporate bonds to prevent layoffs

Updated 08 July 2020

Israel cenbank’s Abir says buying corporate bonds to prevent layoffs

JERUSALEM: The Bank of Israel’s decision to start buying corporate bonds should enable companies to issue debt and prevent further layoffs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, deputy governor Andrew Abir said.
On Monday, the bank held its benchmark interest rate at 0.1 percent but said it would buy 15 billion shekels ($4 billion) of higher-rated corporate bonds in the secondary market.
“It’s not that the corporate bond market was not functioning or because spreads have widened dramatically, but rather the understanding that over the next 6-12 months, there’s going to be a need for issuance in that market,” Abir told Reuters.
The central bank began purchases on March 15 of up to 50 billion shekels of government bonds, which has helped reverse a spike in government and corporate yields.
The index of bonds issued by Israel’s 20 largest firms has gained 1.4 percent following the central bank’s announcement, following three weeks of declines.
Noting that more than 40 percent of corporate credit comes from the bond market, Abir said that fear of being frozen out the market could lead to cash hoarding and cost-cutting, including jobs.
“We want to prevent a situation where a company is having question marks in its ability to fund themselves (and) lays off another 1,000 workers.”
Unemployment is already more than 20 percent and could worsen after some COVID-19 restrictions were reimposed.
Abir said risks to the central bank’s scenario of a record six percent economic contraction in 2020 will be “to the downside” if the infection rate stays high.
Analysts are split over whether the central bank will lower its key rate to zero percent or negative. The Bank of Israel has indicated it is reluctant to do so.
“We still have more measures that we can do. QE can be increased. We haven’t run out of our policy options,” Abir said.